Borough needs to change gear to access £100m cycle fund

Road to redemption: better infrastructure for safe cycling can help all of Croydon

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Our borough scored poorly in a Healthy Streets report published last week. AUSTEN COOPER on how that can be improved

“The joy of cycling is that doing it doesn’t just benefit you. It doesn’t just make you happier. It doesn’t just make you healthier.
“It helps millions of others too, whether or not they have any intention of getting on a bike. It means less pollution and less noise for everyone. It means more trade for street-front businesses. It means fewer cars in front of yours at the lights.”

Who said that?

Some middle-aged man in lycra on a £3,000 road bike?

No. It was the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, just a year ago, when he kickstarted a “£2billion cycling and walking revolution” that promised thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription.

Croydon has the potential to become a great place for people of all ages and abilities to cycle. We know that because we’ve been campaigning for it for more than two decades, and a succession of council reports have said so, most recently the Croydon Cycling Strategy 2018-2023.

Red light: it is time to green-light more cycling in Croydon, says Cooper

As the town centre changes from one dominated by offices and shops and 1960s dual carriageways to a place where people live, work, learn and play, the road transport network that Croydon residents use must change too. If it doesn’t, we’ll have gridlock.

Other London boroughs are making it easier for people to choose cycling as a fast, cheap and easy way to travel.

Croydon is lagging behind, watching other councils benefit from £100million in Transport for London funds to make the changes that will get bums on saddles. That money has to be committed for expenditure by Christmas.

So the pressure is now on TfL and London’s councils – particularly Croydon – to engage and consult with residents in delivering substantive schemes that enable cycling to become a means of mass transportation again. That means protected cycle lanes on main roads, redesigned junctions, safe diversions around bus stops and safe routes through quiet back streets barred to rat runners.

The Healthy Streets Scorecard shows we have a long way to go.

The money is there for the spending. All Croydon needs to do is go out and get it and spend it – wisely.

Read more: Croydon among worst London boroughs for ‘healthy’ streets
Read more: Time for London’s politicians to redesign streets for people
Read more: Climate crisis protest brings Selsdon Road traffic to a halt

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to Borough needs to change gear to access £100m cycle fund

  1. sedley wilson says:

    my names sedley wilson i am chair croydon people first & disability croydon i i love cycling but day i can user a bike on tuesday when go to wheels for wellbeing some of this funding could be ued to make ccycling inclus ive

  2. Ian Ross says:

    We need to stop mixing bicycles and motor vehicles to ensure the safety of the former and the unhindered travel of the latter. As it currently stands both aggravate each other. Further, we need to see secure places to store bicycles for those journeys that could be cycled. Currently I wouldn’t risk the most worthless of bone shakers outside a shop or station let alone anything of value and especially an e-bike.
    A proper and inclusive debate is needed to accommodate all in a process to better all.

    • Mitsky says:

      “unhindered travel of the latter”

      Remind me of the last time any driver remembers being delayed by more than a few seconds before they can potentially overtake cyclists safely, as apposed to avoiding rush hour/school run MOTOR traffic due to the KNOWN and SIGNIFICANT delays they cause.

      If I as a cyclist have a greater average speed during rush hour/school run times, then I am not the cause of delays.
      If a driver cannot overtake safely due to oncoming heavy traffic or other vehicles in the next lane, I am not the cause of delays.

      The only things that slows me down are a give way/stop line, red light or people crossing.
      The one other time I can remember was not being able to filter through standstill traffic due to the narrow lanes (a 3 lane road, each way) and I had to walk past on the pavement.

  3. Grace Onions says:

    As a regular cyclist, I would really appreciate if the cracks, potholes and ‘invisible’ dips in the roads nearest the kerb (where cyclists cycle) could be repaired. There are so many now, and this hasn’t just happened in the last year. If you cycle a particular route regularly then you probably know where they are (like the big hollow on the roundabout under the flyover opposite the fire station), then you have a fair chance of avoiding them and not being flipped off the bike or having to do an emergency swerve into the line of traffic. These hazards are particularly dangerous in the wet when they are more difficult to see. So please, let’s ask them to get these funds and spend them on something that might actually make cycling safer and easier.
    By the way, am not amused that someone has put the image of BoJo in lycra into my brain ………. As some of us have been known to mutter, “all the gear and no idea” and I may not be referring just to cycling here 🙂

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